I always think about the toys I could’ve had as a kid or the ones that I had no way in hell of ever getting my parents to sign-off on. This time around I wanted to focus on some of the monster toys that slipped between my fingers. I could probably fill a dozen lists just about monster toys I wanted as a kid. I love monsters if you couldn’t tell.
Monster toys are sometimes a hard sell for parents. They are either too gross or scream “limited shelf life” (like all the slime toys of the ’80s). So I can kinda see why I didn’t get some of these awesome toys, but that still doesn’t stop my mind from remembering “what could have been”
So here is the Halloween Edition of Toys I Wish I Had As A Kid
1. Mighty Men & Monster Maker (Tomy, 1978)
What a simple concept that could spawn so much fun. Using only the 18 tiles (6 heads, 6 Bodies, and 6 Legs) included and a crayon, you opened up your imagination to countless heroes, villains, and monsters you could create. Tomy contracted Dave Stevens of Rocketer fame to design the characters that would later be chopped up and made into tiles, that’s pretty cool by itself.
Like my Godzilla dreams being dashed at the ol’ Good Will, Mighty Men and Monster suffered the same fate. The slightly tattered box was in my young, innocent hands ready to create my own comic book worlds of wonder to only have my mother say No for reasons I have no idea about even to this day.
2. My Pet Monster (American Greetings, 1986)
This cuddly critter was the shit. Created by American Greetings, the same folks that made the Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and the Get Along Gang (among other great ’80s characters), My Pet Monster was the best alternative to the lame My Buddy doll. My Pet Monster (I would have named mine Karl with a K) could break his shackles and go on a house destroying rampage at a moments notice. Oh, the trouble we could have gotten into together Karl.
This one is easy. I was 10 and it was a hard sell for a 10 year old boy to get a “stuffed animal”. When you have kinda old school parents, they thought I should be out being productive not playing with a girly “stuffed animal”. Little do they know I still play with “stuffed animals”.
3. Creature From The Black Lagoon (Remco, 1979)
In the late ’70s Remco had the rights to make toys of the Universal Monsters, and they did a great job of it. There were different sizes and versions to choose from and a ton of cool accessories. This guy was the one I wanted most of all (I love werewolves, but never a fan of the original design used by Universal). At 3 3/4″ these monsters would be right at home with G.I. Joe or Star Wars on their many adventures around my backyard or around the house. And the fact that they glowed in the dark made them that much cooler.
Sadly I only remember seeing the Remco monsters at K-Mart (along with other cool toys like Warlord) and it came down to “right place at the right time” with my allowance money. So sad, hope to find one cheap enough at a flea market one day.
4. Inhumanoids (Hasbro, 1986)
At a time in the ’80s toy makers were taking a lot of chances and making a ton of cartoons to help sales. Most of the toy lines and cartoons quickly disappeared into the ether, only to be remembered by a select few. Inhumanoids was sadly one of these lines that didn’t last. Its concept is timeless, huge monsters are unearthed and begin to attack humans with only a scientific super group of heroes called the Earth Corps.to stop them. Armed with cool exo-suits, the Earth Corps. battled these subterranean monsters and their minions until the toy line and cartoon were canceled shortly after the fight had begun.
Chalk it up to just not having the funds to get these little bit larger and pricey figures. I always loved these toys and when I do see them out in the wild my heart still skips a beat.
5. Madballs (AmToy, 1986)
Another toy on the list that was created by American Greetings, only this toy under the name of their new toy division AmToy. Madballs were the most simplistic of toys that ended up spawning dozens of copy cats. AmToy combined two things little dudes liked, sports and gross shit. These little foam rubber balls had unique personalities that helped spawn their continuing adventures in comic books and (direct to tape) cartoons. They also made it ok for kids to say Crack Head, and Dust Brain without it referring to people who do drugs.
Again, I was 10 and when your family has no money it’s hard to get anything your parents think is stupid. They may have thought they were stupid but they were very, very right to me.
Hope you enjoyed my look back at some of the monster toys I wish I had as a kid. My previous lists (Part One & Part Two) in this series also had their fair share of monster toys. So if you think I missed anything, give them a read.
Happy Hauntings and never grow up.